Best sounding music to demo AV HiFi systems

There's nothing worse than demoing a system and hearing explicit language offending the sensibilities of everyone in the room. Worse yet is the innocent young girl sitting in the ideal listening spot contently waiting for the music to play only for a track to come on which demeans her as the like of a ho or some other explicitly charged sentiment. From violence, murder, to idolatry music portrays riches and fame while videos flaunting cash or fanciful 22" plus rims. What's acceptable as lyrics spews out of the very best systems. Can't say enough how many times I've cringed while listening to material in demo rooms. I've walked out numerous times because nothing could make what was coming out of the demo speakers sound "good".

With that in mind I decided to list two albums as the best recorded and sounding CDs in my own personal collection. But first a quick demo of Jesse Cook's newest single "Hey".

“Some people think world music is anthropological field recordings,” Jesse says of the collaboration. “That’s not my vibe…”, says Jesse. “Global music is the future, (and) I like it loud and bombastic!” Jesse has swirled together Spanish guitar and Algerian violin and gumbri …

By the numbers, Jesse Cook holds ten platinum and gold studio albums with combined sales exceeding two million copies, five concert DVDs and live discs, and five PBS specials — his most recent, directed, edited and mixed by Cook himself.

Jesse Cook


“There are many borders in our lives. Some are built by others, some we create for ourselves. Whenever I have ventured beyond the borders in my life, I have been the better for it. Beauty, humanity, artistry, joy, wisdom, and of course love…these things don’t stop at some line on a page. If music is the universal language, maybe there is something it can teach us?”…Jesse Cook Following on the heels of One World’s critical and commercial success, Jesse Cook is ready to launch his new album Beyond Borders. This is the most sonically diverse and distinctive disc in Jesse Cook’s vast and varied catalogue. This catalogue has earned Jesse 11 Juno nominations and one Juno win for 2000’s Free Fall. Beyond Borders is an in depth musical journey exploring the exotic boundaries of World Music.

Available on Amazon: CD Beyond Borders

Jesse Cook


With the release of One World, Jesse Cook is ready to return with a vengeance. Jesse has spent the past 2 years touring North America in support of his PBS Television Pledge Concert film Jesse Cook Live In Concert. This PBS Pledge Drive film has played on over 80% of the PBS stations in the country including such major markets as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Detroit, Seattle, Denver, Miami, Nashville, Pittsburgh, and Washington DC.

One World finds Jesse Cook back to his nouveau flamenco artistry that made his albums Frontiers and The Rhumba Foundation such critical and sales successes. Form the opening notes of the upbeat rhumba flavored single Shake; One World takes you on a journey of exotic textures that will attract new audiences and hold Jesse s core fans in rapture. This album is Jesse s most erotic and complex to date.

Available on Amazon: CD One World

Recently I've been purchasing BlueRay. There's nothing quite like both the visual and audio of an AV hifi system to absorb the listener and place them on the sound stage. Here're two I'm recommending:

Norah Jones

Especially beautiful in 4k viewing demoing deep blacks
Multiple Grammy Award winner, Norah Jones, plays an exclusive sold-out show at the world-famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London. This wonderfully intimate live performance film sees Jones return to the piano, accompanied on stage by drummer Brian Blade and bassist Chris Thomas to form a classic jazz trio. The group play tracks from Jones’ sixth solo album Day Breaks and a selection of hits from her extensive catalogue including the hit singles, 'Carry On', ‘Flipside' and 'Don’t Know Why’.

Available on Amazon: Norah Jones Live at Ronnie Scott's

John Mayer



Where The Light Is: John Mayer Live in Los Angeles captures the multi-Grammy® Award-winning, Platinum-selling singer/songwriter in the element where fans love him the most: live on stage. This special concert includes three sets: an acoustic performance, a rare set with John Mayer Trio (John Mayer, Steve Jordan and Pino Palladino), as well as a set featuring Mayer's full band. John Mayer's Where The Light Is includes 22 songs and features a one-of-a-kind song list made up of the three distinct performances - all recorded the night of December 8th, 2007 at the NOKIA Theatre in Los Angeles.

Available on Amazon: John Mayer: Where the Light Is - Live in Los Angeles [Blu-ray]

Happy Listening!

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